Disjointed

“Don’t get attached” you warned, and you were right.

It’s easier to not have expectations, to believe that it means nothing just so you can protect yourself.

“You went to search for him, didn’t you?”

Yes, I whispered, embarrassed, and you sighed. “It’s okay.” you reassured me, though your face said otherwise. “You’ll learn.”

***

I had to remind myself. Don’t get attached.

It was difficult. It is difficult. I toss and turn, thinking, wondering. Wishing. Staring at the blank darkness above me, around me, wondering why I felt so lonely when I finally wasn’t living alone anymore.

You text.

I answer embarrassingly quickly, I must seem so desperate. Don’t get attached. I think it’s laughable how you have me right where you want me. I didn’t think it would happen, you were boring at first. I was wondering when it would be over, we were aimlessly walking in circles. And then suddenly you made it magical, just for those few hours and I was glad I stayed. Don’t get attached echoed in my head and stupidly I ignored it. You made me comfortable. But that was it, don’t think too deeply into anything, don’t get attached.

Perhaps I am naive.

“You’ll learn.”

***

I look at your photos.

I thought I was okay, with all the time that had passed memories blurred into fiction. Feelings into afterthoughts, residual aftertaste. What once made me stir now leaves me numb. I don’t feel anything, or at least I think I don’t. Because it’s easier not to.

I look at your photos.

Each click brings me back farther, I tell myself I’m okay.

I look at our photos.

This time the memories rush back, the feelings burst forward and I hurriedly close the window. Click that big red X, like the one I’ve been trying to engrave into myself.

I’m still trying to erase the photos you left behind. Delete.

***

I’m not drunk enough to wipe away the taste of regret on my lips. I laugh, but it rings hollow.

“Do you love me?” you ask, and I nod the lie.

It seems enough to satisfy you, and your presence is enough to satisfy my need to lie. My laugh may be empty but these four walls aren’t.

But I was always a bad liar.

***

Sometimes I hate how dependent I am on the need for someone else to provide the justification for me to love myself. I was so blind, and let my emotions drive me, doing the worst thing I could have ever done – disrespect myself. I was so clouded by insecurity that I believed I needed you.

But then I relied on someone else to lift the veil. It was like eating the forbidden fruit – suddenly your eyes opened and you were ashamed, realisation dawned. It was liberating.

I laughed, and she was there to laugh with me. We talked, we skipped, we drank, we felt free.

“Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

“Because you were scared.”

“I’m not anymore!”

“Good.”

***

You’re embarrassingly candid when you admit it to me, and it makes me laugh. That’s adorable, I think, and it makes me happy realising I’m not the only one who is insecure.

I press replay on the mental video of how you kissed me goodbye. I smile.

Don’t get attached.

Delete.

***

I don’t understand why we all have to speak in code, why there is a certain conduct and subliminal messaging. Complicated.

Suddenly, you second guess everything, analyze words, smiles, actions, pictures.

It’s tiring.

“You’ll learn.”

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